Most composers cannot afford to hire a full orchestra and a studio for every track they make, especially when they are first starting out. However, modern technology has given us a massive amount of amazing sample libraries, allowing us to mimic the sound of real instruments and orchestras from our own home studios. That said, as most quality musical tools, libraries are not cheap. Smaller ones can begin in the $10-$100 range, while some are even selling for as much as $500-$1000. And when you don’t have access to live ensembles, the quality of your productions depends a lot on the quality of your library collection. If you are trying to build up a nice, high quality collection of top industry sample libraries, you’ll quickly see your bank balance decline at a rapid speed.
To help preventing that, I will cover some ways that you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when you’re buying libraries, making sure both your wallet and studio will be happy.
1. Buy bundles
An extremely effective way of saving huge amounts of money is to buy bundles – bigger collections of libraries at once. Here are a few great offers to check out:
8DIO for example, has a wide choice of bundle offers, including «All products», «Adagio Strings Bundle», «All Epic Perc Bundle» «All Hybrid Bundle» and many more. With these you can save up to 40% off the total price of buying them separately. Needless to say, this is only a good offer if you are considering buying more than one library from the same company. If you are only shopping for one specific library only though, buying bundles will only make you spend more than initially planned – which is not what we want. That said, if you’re looking into acquiring the full Adagio string collection, or a full set of huge, epic percussion etc, these bundles are something you should check out.
Spitfire also offers a lot of nice bundles, featuring some of their best product collections. You can also find some good bundle deals at Strezov Sampling, Sonokinetic and in East West Quantum Leap’s Hollywood Orchestra.
What can probably be considered one of the absolute best discounts on a bundle ever, is Native Instruments Komplete 10 and 10 Ultimate. While the high price tag of 999$ might throw some people off, the individual price on all products included is 7600$! Now that’s a steal. I got Komplete 9 Ultimate a couple of years back, and have not regretted it a second. The quality of these libraries are supreme, and they are currently staples in a lot of my work.
2. Wait for holiday offers
Think about when you buy your libraries. Most websites have sales during Christmas, Easter, Black Friday, 4th of July – you name it. A lot of the time you can get 25-50% off, 2 for the price of 1 and other massive discounts that may save you hundreds of dollars. So when you feel the urge to get that brand new library on a regular Thursday evening in the middle of the year, try to keep your head calm and find out when the next big sale might be. Make sure to drop by your favorite sample library websites every now and then and stay up to date on their newest and upcoming offers.
3. Don’t Always Buy The Newest
This might be pretty obvious, but if you are trying to save money, and don’t have a hurry to get your hands on the newest and best library at all times, waiting a little bit might save you quite a lot of money. Most new products will usually reach a lower price after a little while, compared to when they were initially released. One example is Native Instruments Komplete. I remember right before Komplete 10 Ultimate was released, that Native Instruments and their retailers had a huge sale to clear their stocks of all the remaining Komplete 9’s. This is where I bought my copy of Komplete 9 Ultimate, something that saved me about 500 bucks. So a lot of times, waiting a little bit might give you some good discounts on the original price of the libraries.
4. Subscribe to the newsletter of the companies
A lot of sample library websites have newsletters, where you can get information regarding their new products, sales, as well as coupon codes to get discounts on their products. If you want to save money, make sure to be on their newsletter to always stay up to date with what’s going on. Most websites will add you to their newsletter when you buy your first product from them, while others might give you the option of signing up straight from their website.
Go to your favorite sites, sign up and make sure that you’ll never miss a great deal again, by getting all sales and offers straight to your inbox.
5. Check out the «Composer Cloud»
East West Quantum Leap has released a service called «Composer Cloud», a monthly payment service where you will get online access to ALL of their products. This is a collection of over 9000 virtual instruments, worth over 11.000$. And the price? 29.99$ per month. If you are a fan of East West Quantum Leap’s libraries like the Hollywood series, Storm Drum series etc, this is an offer you really have to check out.
One of the downsides of this offer however, is that they only give you the Gold versions instead of the Diamond ones, with the only difference being less mic options (no close, hall, etc, only stage). Another obvious downside is that if you decide to cancel your subscription, you won’t have access to your libraries anymore. However, the cloud can be a great way to check out all their libraries before eventually buying, as all their new products automatically will be added to the service. Spending 29 bucks to check out where you really wanna spend your bigger money can be a good idea. I’ve also been using the service for some months now, and really enjoy it.
Check out their site, and see if this offer is anything for you.
These are my main tips for buying sample libraries if you want to save money when expanding your library collection.